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Susquehanna Service Dogs Responsibilities of a Puppy Raiser

Lab puppy on sliding board

Complete a preliminary application to become a puppy raiser or sitter.

The following is a list of things that Susquehanna Service Dogs expects you to do with your puppy. Early experiences help ensure success in later training!

  • Lots of love and snuggling
  • Lots of daily exercise – long walks, runs and panting puppies
  • Diligence with housebreaking
  • Regular attendance at SSD puppy classes (2-3 times per month)
  • Special games at least twice a week
  • Car rides all the time
  • Walks in populated places
  • Walks in parks and forests – especially important for young puppies to increase their learning capacity
  • Go inside to new and interesting places at least once a week
  • Take the puppy to meetings so it learns to wait quietly
  • Discourage barking, except during playtime
  • Absolutely NO feeding from the table – use the dog dish ONLY
  • Purchase food. This is the only cost the puppy raiser family is responsible for.

Puppy raisers raise a service dog in their home for approximately two years. Puppy sitters provide relief services for shorter period of time (a day, a week, and in some cases, longer) when the puppy raiser is unavailable. Puppy raiser homes are ideally located within South Central Pennsylvania, less than an hour's drive from Harrisburg. This allows ease of access to veterinary care, functions and outings, and convenience for attendance at puppy classes provided by SSD.

Veterinary services are provided by Palmyra Animal Clinic (717) 838-5451.

Apply to become a puppy raiser or sitter.

Questions regarding this process may be submitted via email to SSD at ssd @

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Assistance Dogs International

Susquehanna Service Dogs is a fully accredited member of Assistance Dogs International.

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Susquehanna Service Dogs is a full member of Animal Assisted Intervention International.


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